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Try it before you buy it. Books for every Pinterest pal, history buff, mystery maven and graphic novel guru on your list, hand-picked by your favorite Westerville librarians.
Last Updated: Dec 7, 2012 URL: http://explore.westervillelibrary.org/giftguide2012 Print Guide RSS Updates

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Gift Guide 2012

 

Interactive & Instructional: Non-Fiction

It's all fun and games with these books that offer up hours of entertainment with a bit of learning on the side.
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A Children's Treasury of Songs - Linda Bleck
Babies to Grade 3

Lyrics of classic children's songs, illustrated with pictures embossed on cardstock pages. Retro, pretty, and fun. Becky, Youth Services

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Actual Size - Steve Jenkins
Grades PreK-6

One of the most brilliant concepts behind an illustrated book - presenting animals, or parts thereof, at their actual size. Watch out for the Goliath birdeater tarantula!! Becky, Youth Services

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Edgar Allan Poe's Pie - J. Patrick Lewis
Grades 2-5

A fun and creative way of applying the new STEM standards (while sneaking in a bit of clever wordsmithery)! Woot! Jen, Youth Services

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National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry - J. Patrick Lewis
Grades 1-5

It’s a treat to look at and the poems are wonderful too! Robin, Youth Services

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Play These Games - Heather Swain
All Ages

Simple games you can play with stuff you already have. Becky, Youth Services

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Queen of the Falls - Chris Van Allsburg
Grades 1-5

The story of the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel...and survive. Robin, Youth Services Librarian

Did you know the first person to go over the falls in a barrel was a retired charm school teacher named Annie Taylor? Becky, Youth Services

 

Board Books for Babies

For the youngest of the young, these board books teach basic concepts and early literacy skills without being boring.
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Colors - Orla Kiely
Infants & Toddlers, 3mo-4yrs

This and "Numbers" by the same author are beautifully simple concept books...parents into fashion/design will appreciate them too. Becky, Youth Services

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Hippopposites - Janik Coat
Infants & Toddlers, 3mo-4yrs

A stoic hippo illustrates some basic (and complex) concepts of opposites. Becky, Youth Services

Though hippo is remarkably static, the environments around hippo aren't and the contrast is what creates the magic here. Robin

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The Game of Finger Worms - Hervé Tullet
Infants & Toddlers, 3mo-4yrs

Draw a face on your own finger and it becomes the "finger worm" that stars in this story by poking through the holes in the board pages. Brilliant and fun. Becky, Youth Services

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Yawn - Sally Symes
Infants & Toddlers, 3mo-4yrs

A favorite for babies. Erin, Youth Services

 

Suggestions for New Readers

Kids who are reading on their own will want to read these over and over.
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I Broke My Trunk! - Mo Willems
Grades PreK-K

Beware the story that is so crazy you must RUN to tell it to someone. Becky, Youth Services

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Penny and Her Song - Kevin Henkes
Grades K-2

Penny can't wait to share her new song with her family, but she must wait because the babies are sleeping. And then it's time for dinner. But after dinner, the whole family sings and dances together. Love the gentle family humor, drama and warmth. Robin, Youth Services

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See Me Run - Paul Meisel
Grades PreK-1

Great for Dr. Seuss fans.
Tamara, Computer Services

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Tales for Very Picky Eaters - Josh Schneider
Grades PreK-3

Such a funny book and one of the best readers I've ever read. I'm not sure that children will be persuaded to try new foods, but oh what fun it is to read about James' woes and his father's tall tales. Robin, Youth Services

Need More Suggestions?

Check out our Gift Guides from years past.
Or browse our full list of suggested books.

 

Fantasy, History, Spies & More: Fiction for School-Age Kids

From the illegitimate sons of Thomas Jefferson to the daughter of a stay-at-home dad, from Indiana to deep space, these books will transport their readers to another world.
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A Drowned Maiden's Hair - Laura Amy Schlitz
Historical Fiction, Grades 4-8

Maud is a secret child who is asked to impersonate a dead girl at a seance, for a sizable sum of money. Maud is eager to please the Hawthorne sisters who adopt her and so longs for family that she will do anything...well, almost anything. Robin, Youth Services

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Caddy's World - Hilary McKay
Realistic Fiction, Grades 4-8

I love the Casson family, quirky as they are and negligent as the father is at some times. It was such a pleasurable read; I felt like I was visiting friends I hadn't seen in a long time. Robin, Youth Services

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Hourglass - Myra McEntire
Mystery & Science Fiction, Grades 6-12

I think I read it in 2 hours because McEntire does that thing that Dan Brown does - you know where you think you'll go to bed after this chapter, but THEN the last sentence of the chapter makes it IMPOSSIBLE not to read on. Tricky devils. Time travel, romance and Cubanos with empanadas...what else could you wish for in a good read? Mickie, Youth Services

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Jefferson's Sons - Kimberly Bradley
Historical Fiction, Grades 4-6

Interesting take on a difficult subject! The book is told from the point of view of Thomas Jefferson's children...the children he fathered with his slave Sally Hemings. What if your father was also your owner? WOW! Lisa, Youth Librarian

Can a person be great and still participate in evil? Becky, Youth Services

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Legends of Zita the Spacegirl - Ben Hatke
Science Fiction & Graphic Novel, Grades 3-6

The adventure continues. Robin, Youth Services

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Liar & Spy - Rebecca Stead
Spy Story, Grades 3-7

When the pieces fall into place, you would do well to have a box of tissues handy. Susan, Youth Services

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The Mighty Miss Malone - Christopher Paul Curtis
Historical Fiction, Grades 5-8

Good book - but heavy content! Erin, Youth Services

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The One and Only Ivan - Katherine Applegate
Animals in Fiction, Grades 3-7The story of Ivan, a lowland gorilla, who spent almost 30 years in a solitary cage at a shopping mall, "the ape at exit 8." Told in Ivan's own voice. One of my favorites this year, a must for animal lovers. Robin, Youth Services

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The Secret of the Stone Frog - David Nytra
Fantasy & Graphic Novel, Grades 2-4

Not every kid will like it, but some will get pulled into its old-timey, surreal world. Plus, it's got dandy lions (two words) and goes all Inception near the end. Becky, Youth Services

 

Tigers, Tacos & Tall Tales: Picture Books for Kids

Whether you're looking for a cuddle-together-before-bed book, a laugh-out-loud-roll-on-the-floor book or a teach-a-valuable-lesson book, we've got you covered.
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And Then It's Spring - Julie Fogliano
Grades PreK-2

Like in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy is transported from the overwhelming brown of the Kansas prairie to the glorious technicolor of Oz. Such is the boys' backyard garden now.
Robin, Youth Services

The most perfect kind of simple.
Tamara, Web Content Librarian

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Bear Has a Story to Tell - Philip C. Stead
Grades PreK-2

This is a nice addition to the "winter is coming" fall books, and it's circular in a surprising way. The illustrations are lovely and delicate... Becky, Youth Services

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Beautiful Oops! - Barney Saltzberg
Grades K-6

Make a mistake? No problem...torn paper, stains, spilled ink...all these can actually lead to a good/creative result...
Robin, Youth Services

When I was little I always had to stay in the lines...trying to change! Lisa, Youth Services

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Because Amelia Smiled - David Ezra Stein
Grades PreK-2

The little girl Amelia smiles, and the effects spread to cities around the world, touching upon stories with just enough of the ridiculous that will keep it the kid appeal high. Becky, Youth Services

I like how a smile can travel, spreading goodwill, around the world... Robin, Youth Services

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Dragons Love Tacos - Adam Rubin
Grades PreK-2

I love dragons and tacos!!! <3
Jen, Youth Services

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It's a Tiger! - David LaRochelle
Grades PreK-1

Love, love this book. Lisa, Youth Services

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Let's Count to 100! - Masayuki Sebe
Grades PreK-2

Each double-page spread has 100 things (cats, kids, moles, etc.), plus an extra seek-and-find element (how many cats have striped tails? are there enough berries for everyone?) and lots of fun captions to read. Bright colors and simple shapes; begs to be given as a gift. Becky, Youth Services

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More - I. C. Springman
Grades PreK-3

Imaginative and humorous and fun. Illustrates: more, enough, plenty - too much - way too much, then back down to less - not so much, yet still...enough. Robin, Youth Services

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Olivia and the Fairy Princesses - Ian Falconer
Grades PreK-2

Thank you, Olivia!
Jen, Youth Services

Perfect for girls who aren't girly girls.
Tamara, Computer Services

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Otto the Book Bear - Katie Cleminson
Grades PreK-2

Well, what librarian wouldn't love this? Otto the bear likes to climb out of his book and explore, and when he's left behind one day, he goes on a quest to find somewhere else to live.
Becky, Youth Services

Otto the book bear is so darn adorable! I want him to be my little library mascot! Jen, Youth Services

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Pass It On - Marilyn Sadler
Grades PreK-1

Based on the old "telephone" game - Cow is stuck in the fence and the animals are spreading the word...incorrectly!
Lisa, Youth Services

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RRRalph - Lois Ehlert
Toddlers - Grade 1

Puns and humorous wordplay abound. Kids are sure to notice the use of found objects (like pop can tabs and buttons) in addition to cut paper. Robin, Youth Services

Can a dog say his name? Of Course, if his name is RRRalph!! Lisa, Youth Services

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Sweet Dreams - Rose A. Lewis
Grades PreK-2

I feel like this rhyming bedtime story would have been very comforting to me as a child - both the words and the pictures. Becky, Youth Services

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The Rainbabies - Laura Krauss Melmed
Grades K-1

Just magical and lovely.
Erin, Youth Services

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